PHOENIX (FOX 10) - President Trump unveiled a plan to transform America's immigration system. Its focus is high-skilled workers. The president says the current immigration system doesn't work and must be updated.
President Trump says "Our plan includes a sweeping modernization of our dysfunctional legal immigration process. It is totally dysfunctional. The system will finally be fair, transparent, and promote equality and opportunity for all."
Mister Trump's proposal would also impose new security measures at the border.
The plan doesn't change the level of immigration into the United States but it is said to dramatically alter the way the United States accepts people in the country. Its goal is to have immigration based on merit rather than family ties.
The proposal would judge immigrants with a points-based system that would favor high-skilled workers. It would focus on things like age, English proficiency, education and whether the applicant has a job offer. The president also says the proposal requires immigrants to be financially self-sufficient and pass a Civics exam. Arizona Congresswoman Debbie Lesko, who was in the Rose Garden for the announcement, tells us by phone she supports the merit-based system.
"That's who most other countries around the world have," said Congresswoman Lesko. "Currently, only 12 percent of our legal immigration is merit-based and [the president] wants to increase that to 57 percent."
President Trump also announced plans to modernize ports of entry and increase inspections on the border.
"[The president] wants to increase that so we stop this flow of drugs coming into the United States and affecting our communities," Congresswoman Lesko said.
The plan didn't include any provisions for providing legal status to the children or dreams who were brought to the US by their parents. Dulce Matuz, an immigrant, has a degree in electrical engineering from Arizona State University and now owns a successful real estate company. She says not addressing the Dream Act is irresponsible.
"We have 11 million undocumented immigrants and a lot of them are dreamers who are highly skilled," Matuz said. "And we're not even taking advantage of that."
Matuz says the president should focus on those who are already here and come up with a solution for them.